These Windows 10 Features Are Constantly Changing

Ben Stegner 08-09-2017

Unlike previous Windows versions, Windows 10 regularly changes thanks to major updates. The Creators Update added lots of new goodies, and it won’t be the last big update we see in 2017.


For backward compatibility, Windows holds several legacy features that still need support 5 Legacy Windows Features Microsoft Can't Retire Yet Microsoft has removed many older features from Windows over time. But these legacy features aren't going away anytime soon. Read More . But since the release of Windows 10, many other features have evolved and improved significantly. They’re not done changing yet, however.

Here are five major Windows features that Microsoft is still working on today.

1. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft hoped to capture those coming to Windows 10 with a fresh new browser. Edge, it claimed, was built for the modern web and held an emphasis on simplicity and useful features. While Edge is certainly better than its predecessor internet Explorer, it’s still maturing into a browser you’ll want to use all the time.

In the past few major Windows 10 updates, Microsoft Edge gained support for extensions Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions The one feature Microsoft Edge has been missing is extensions. Windows Insiders can now test the first official extensions and manually port extensions from Google Chrome. We show you everything you need to know. Read More , tab management features, and better annotation tools. Despite this, it’s still lacking in customization and quality-of-life options A Quick and Dirty Guide to Every Setting in Microsoft Edge If you decide to use Edge, the first thing you should do is set the browser up, which includes tweaking all of the settings according to your needs. Here's everything you need to know. Read More .

We’ve taken a look at every Edge extension The Complete List of Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions Microsoft Edge now supports extensions, but its library is paltry compared to Chrome's. Let's find out exactly how good Edge extensions are compared to Chrome's offerings. Read More , and while the library holds several big names, it pales in comparison to Chrome or Firefox.


Certainly, there are some good reasons for using Edge This Is What Microsoft Edge Is Good For Microsoft Edge is way better than Internet Explorer. It's time to become browser agnostic. We'll show you the unique features that make Edge worth using, even if it's not your main browser. Read More . In the future, we hope Microsoft will greatly expand the extension library, add deep tweaking for power users, and maybe throw in a few surprises to set Edge apart. For now, Edge is usable, but it doesn’t offer enough to earn the coveted default browser place.

2. The Windows Store

The Windows Store should have been a huge breakthrough for the Windows ecosystem. For years, Windows was the only major operating system (OS) that didn’t have a centralized place for downloading apps. Linux and macOS, along with Android and iOS, all have a dedicated market for finding and installing apps. On Windows, you could only download them directly from developer websites or on third-party download sites, which can be dangerous The 7 Worst Places for Downloading Windows Software Software can be packed with bloatware and worse, malware. You can catch malware, if you download your tools from the wrong source. These are the sites you should avoid... Read More .

But the Windows Store is underwhelming at best. While there are some solid apps available The Best Free Windows Store Apps Worth Your Time The Windows Store can be intimidating. We went in to find the apps you should try. These lesser-known gems convinced us with great service and functionality. Read More , the Store has been plagued with dead and fake apps How Dead Apps Are Drowning the Windows Store Dead apps are everywhere in the Windows Store. Why are apps abandoned, how does it affect users, and how could Microsoft solve this dilemma? We analyze the sad state of the Windows Store. Read More along with security concerns How Secure Is the Windows App Store? The Windows Store took a hammering when it first launched in early-2012, criticized for poor apps and security issues. Four years on, is the Windows Store now a reliable and secure service? Read More .

Thankfully, the situation is a lot better than it once was. A search for a common app like VLC no longer brings up a dozen counterfeits looking for a quick buck.


However, for the average user, there isn’t much reason to browse the Windows Store. Why download the Store apps for Spotify, Instagram, Inkscape, or Newegg when you can download the normal desktop versions or use their web versions? Most people don’t even know that popular apps are in the Store 10 Windows Store Apps You Didn't Know Existed Big names have finally entered the Windows Store. You might not realize just how good it's become. Let us show you what you've missed. Read More .

In the future, the Windows Store should garner support from more developers to make it the standard for downloading Windows software. Windows veterans setting up a new PC are used to download the desktop versions of programs — making Store apps more attractive could change that.

Notably, the new Windows 10 S restricts users Windows 10 S: Everything You Need to Know Windows 10 S is a new stripped-down version of Windows 10 designed for schools. Let's discuss the good and the bad, and decide if you should buy one of the new machines. Read More to only using apps from the Windows Store. Users running that version of the OS can’t use traditional desktop tools. Hopefully, this results in better Store apps for everyone.

3. The Settings App

We’ve discussed before how Microsoft is killing off the old Control Panel Why Microsoft Is Killing the Windows Control Panel The Control Panel is being decommissioned. In Windows 10, the Settings app has adopted most of its features in a more stylish and mobile-friendly interface. Is that really necessary? Read More in favor of the Settings app. With every update to Windows 10, options once found in the Control Panel dissolve into Settings The Windows 10 Settings Guide: How to Do Anything and Everything Do you know your way around the Settings app in Windows 10? Here's everything you need to know. Read More . For instance, clicking the option to change your Windows theme in Settings used to pop open a Control Panel entry straight out of Windows 7. But now, this preference is all handled in Settings.


For the average user, this is a great change that makes Windows more user-friendly How Windows Has Become More User-Friendly, 5 Examples Over time, Windows has smoothed rough edges and created a more user-friendly experience, especially for novice users. Here are five big reasons that Windows is easier to use than ever before. Read More . Placing the most common options in the colorful and easy-to-navigate Settings app and keeping the power user tools in the Control Panel is a sensible separation.

In the future, we might see a complete teardown of the Control Panel with a full migration to Settings. However, it’s more likely that the Control Panel will evolve to only contain features that normal user don’t care about, such as File Explorer Options. Removing duplicate entries from the Control Panel, like Language, will make both menus unique and reduce clutter.

4. OneDrive

Microsoft’s OneDrive, originally known as SkyDrive, has matured from a basic Dropbox competitor to a key part of Windows 10. Back when it was introduced as an optional download for Windows 7, SkyDrive was functional but didn’t pack many features. Plus, its web client was pretty lousy.

That’s not the case with OneDrive. By signing in with a Microsoft account The Pros and Cons of Using a Microsoft Account with Windows A single Microsoft Account allows you to log into a wide range of Microsoft services and apps. We show you the pros and cons of using a Microsoft Account with Windows. Read More , you get access to 5GB of free space with more available for purchase. Of course, OneDrive’s core feature is giving you an easy way to sync your files between devices. But it also offers power tools like automatically backing up photos, fetching your PC files remotely, and even letting you work on Office documents at the same time as someone else.


Unfortunately, Microsoft removed one of the best parts of OneDrive — Smart Files — in Windows 10. But until the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which we expect to introduce OneDrive Files On-Demand (a Smart Files replacement), you can get them back How to Substitute OneDrive Smart Files in Windows 10 Microsoft broke OneDrive on Windows 10 for power users. The removal of placeholders, also known as smart files, has disappointed many users who upgraded from Windows 8.1. We have compiled several workarounds. Read More with a bit of work. Add in backing up your Windows settings, powerful sharing options, and great apps on every platform, and it’s easy to see OneDrive has become a complete cloud storage solution. It gets even better the more Microsoft services you use. And if you don’t like it for some reason, Microsoft made it easy to remove How to Disable OneDrive with Just a Few Clicks Microsoft OneDrive is baked into Windows 10 and it can be a drag on your system resources. Fortunately, it's easy to disable or remove. Here are several methods for removing OneDrive from your computer. Read More in the Creators Update.

Note that OneDrive isn’t a proper backup solution The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide We've summarized every backup, restore, recovery, and repair option we could find on Windows 10. Use our simple tips and never despair over lost data again! Read More since it syncs all changes to the cloud — intentional or not. But it can serve as a layer in your data protection plan. In the future, Microsoft could include a backup utility in OneDrive to make it a built-in backup solution for Windows users. Google has done something similar with Drive How to Back Up Your Hard Drive to Google Drive There are lots of high-quality backup tools on the market, but as of last month, there's another free option for you to consider: Google Drive. Read More .

5. Cortana

Perhaps the feature of Windows 10 that’s received the most tweaking since release, is Cortana. Every major update has seen the virtual assistant become smarter and gain lots of extra functionality. Far from just asking simple questions, Cortana can control Windows settings 6 Coolest Things You Can Control with Cortana in Windows 10 Cortana can help you go hands-free on Windows 10. You can let her search your files and the web, make calculations, or pull up the weather forecast. Here we cover some of her cooler skills. Read More and now even integrates into Microsoft Edge to help save you money Cortana Now Helps You Save Money When Shopping Online Cortana, Microsoft's digital personal assistant, can now help you save money when you're shopping online. Which is nice of her. Read More . She’s also able to respond to a ton of different queries Hey, Cortana? Everything You Didn't Know to Ask and More Cortana can do a lot more than you think. This master list of basic and not-so-obvious commands will help you get to know your virtual assistant and increase your productivity. Read More , and Cortana even integrates into some apps 8 Cortana App Integrations You Have to Try Did you know Cortana can already cook your dinner, put the kids to bed, and wash your laundry? Okay, that's not entirely true, but the potential of Microsoft's personal assistant might surprise you. Read More .

Starting with the Creators Update, Cortana is there to help new users set up their PC. Working with reminders and requests, like playing music, are more reliable and have extra functionality. Windows 10’s search is already awesome, but as Cortana grows she offers so many more reasons to use her. You can even add the Cortana app to your phone and sync notifications How to Sync Android Notifications With Windows 10 Using Cortana You can now sync Android phone notifications with Windows 10 and act on them. We guide you through the setup with Cortana and explain how you can manage your phone from your desktop's Action Center. Read More .

There’s no telling how much Cortana will improve in the near future. We’re sure that Microsoft will continue to add new features, enhancements to what’s already there, and more integrations.

What Other Windows Features Remain Unfinished?

These five big features of Windows 10 show that Microsoft isn’t stuck in the past or sitting contently. While some ancient Windows features haven’t changed in years 4 Archaic Functions Windows 10 Still Supports Windows 10 might have cut a lot of features, but there are several ancient functions still hiding in the operating system. Here are four you might not expect Windows to still support. Read More , Microsoft is making other improvements all the time as Windows evolves. It’s an exciting time for Windows users, as we’ll certainly see even more progress before the year ends.

For less obvious changes, check out the best new Windows 10 features you may have missed 7 New Windows 10 Features You May Have Missed Every major Windows Update now comes with countless new options and features. Here we cover awesome new features that didn't make the headlines. Read More .

Which Windows 10 features have you noticed improvements in? What kind of updates would you like to see for the above tools? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments!

Related topics: Microsoft Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft OneDrive, Nostalgia, Windows 10, Windows Store.

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  1. JayRayK
    September 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    This is what I call ahead of their heads. Patches are acceptable but an unfinished OS is like having an unfinished boat. It will sink.

  2. Bruno Finger
    September 8, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Windows is now a rolling release as of Windows 10. Yes it will never be finished. Everything that will ever come to be, every update, everything, will be Windows 10. There won't be Windows 11 or whatever. They should have just called it "Windows".

    • dragonmouth
      September 9, 2017 at 11:54 am

      "there won't be a Windows 11"
      Until Microsoft management decides that the company will make more money if it forces every Windows user to upgrade to a "new and improved" product.

  3. Bruno Finger
    September 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Windows is now a rolling release as of Windows 10. It's not supposed to be finished, there won't be a Windows 11 or whatever. Everything Windows that will ever come will come to 10. Every new update will be Windows 10. In fact they should have just called it "Windows".

  4. dragonmouth
    September 8, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    "What Other Windows Features Remain Unfinished?"
    Privacy and security.

    After many years, Microsoft has finally adopted from Linux the idea or repositories, rolling release and Settings. Now they need to adopt Linux's model of security. Microsoft should also quit spying on the users of its products.